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Tourist Places To Visit In Shimla
Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. Back in the day, it used to be the summer capital of the British Raj and therefore, the architecture of the place has a distinct colonial air about it. Today, Shimla is but a popular tourist destination. Often hailed as the "Queen of Hills," Shimla rises to an altitude of 2,205 metres and is draped with alpine woods, rhododendron, and oak trees. Shimla experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. Here are the top tourist places you can visit in Shimla:
Visit The Himachal State Museum And Library
The Shimla State Museum was opened with the mission of preserving the state's cultural and historical wealth for future generations. Traditional Himachali artifacts such as miniature Pahari paintings, sculptures, traditional costumes, books and jewelry can be found here.
Walk Around Mall Road
Shimla's Mall Road is where people hang out, shop for souvenirs and watch movies. The Mall has a number of good restaurants, cafes, and bars. Traditional handicrafts, shawls and tweeds, fruit juices and jams, honey, woollens, silver jewellery, miniature Pahari paintings, rugs and carpets, handmade footwear and wooden items like walking sticks can be found in the shopping area here. Gaiety theatre is in this area and people arrive in droves to watch movies there.
Monkey-Watch Outside Jakhoo Temple
Located on Jakhoo Hill, two kilometers away from Shimla, is the hillstation's most popular temple, which offers some of the most breath-taking views of the hill-town, and of the majestic, frosty Himalayan Mountains. At the temple you will come across a bunch of mischievous monkeys who are likely to brazenly snatch your belongings and food stuff from your hands! They're rather fun to watch though.
Hike to the hot springs at Tattapani
Tattapani lies on the banks of the Sutlej River. The hot sulphur springs at Tattapani are real crowd pullers for their curative and invigorating properties. It is said that a number of ailments can be cured by taking a dip in these waters. Tatta-pani literally means "hot water".
Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is one of the most sought after things to do in Shimla as it has the only natural ice skating rink in all of India. The season for this winter sport usually begins in December and goes on till the end of February. The rink provides membership on short and long term basis. Basic equipment is available at the rink, for a fee.
Take a walk through a pine forest at Naldehra
Naldehra is about 23 kms out of Shimla. It is home to a nine-hole golf course - the oldest in India. Naldehra is said to have derived its name from the Nag temple located there. The area has good wooded walks with fragrant pine trees and is a favourite for people wanting to take leisurely walks and breathe in some clean, cool air.
Take in the Colonial Architecture all around Shimla
During the days of the Raj, the Viceroy and the other administrative members used to spend their summers in Shimla, along with their families. This is the reason why Shimla has buildings, homes, churches, and lodges that are typically British in architecture.
The Ridge of Shimla
The Ridge, as the locals call it, is the hub of all activity in the town. It is a tourist magnet and branches out to all important places of interest in Shimla, namely — Lakkar Bazar, Mall Road, Scandal Point etc. You will find the Christ Church on the periphery of the Ridge. What is the ridge famous for? Well, in addition to being a connecting point, the Ridge hosts the Summer festival of April-May every year here. A walk along this road is a great way to spend an idle noon.
Photographers and Instagrammers, take note — Green Valley is Shimla’s favourite spot for shooting. Bollywood movies have been shot here in the past and it continues to retain its charm for vloggers and influencers now. It is 8 km from the city centre, on the way to Kufri. With its thick forest cover and gorgeous scenic beauty, this place is a guaranteed picnic spot as well as solo wandering valley.
The Chadwick Waterfall is located in the quiet Glen Forest, falling from a height of 100 m. It may not sound as grand but the hike you take to reach this natural paradise is what makes Chadwick Waterfall a thing of beauty. Monsoon is the best time to visit as the forest is lush and the water is swelling to its full potential, wild flowers bloom and exotic fragrances overtake the area. The spot is around 5 km from the Shimla Bus Stand.
Christ Church is easily on the top 10 tourist places to visit in Shimla. With its neo-gothic architecture and serene lush surroundings this church is literally a monument. It is open from 8 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening, every day of the week. Its beauty is unrivalled, pasted on most Shimla postcards. And what’s more, its gorgeous stained glass windows have a meaning deeper than just utility — they represent charity, faith, fortitude, hope, patience and of course, humanity.
Himalayan Bird Park
Want to enjoy seeing peacocks prancing around the alpine forests? Then the Himalayan Bird Park is for you. Nature lovers and bird-watcher enthusiasts flock here just as enthusiastically as birds do. You get to see many birds, including the exotic ones like pheasants, Himalayan Monal, and of course the peacock. The flora here is also quite unique and enthralling, so you can enjoy a long walk down the park, camera in hand.
Shimla State Museum
Now for some intellectuals — there is the Shimla State Museum, not too far from the Scandal Point. It is a centre for all artefacts and tales from the colonial times. Even the house it is exhibited in is a converted colonial residence, erstwhile home of Lord William Beresford. From photographs to coins to sculptures and artworks, the Shimla State Museum is home to great stuff for you to see. Take an hour to two out of your itinerary and explore here.
Annandale can be called a park or a developed picnic spot or even a golf/polo ground. The truth is, it is all of these and more. A flat terrain in the hills of Shimla, Annandale is landscaped like a playground where you can easily enjoy the green lawns and sit-down picnic spots as well as indulge in a game or two of cricket. The British landscaped Annandale back in the day to play cricket and arrange races, and the government has maintained it even after independence.
Who said toy trains are only meant for children? The Shimla to Barog toy train is a a thing of fairytale legends, meandering through the pine forests and hills, running a distance of 96 km in about 5 hours, going in and out of 103 small tunnels and crossing 800 bridges! Feeling Harry Potterish already? Well, wait until you get on this train. It is India’s own Hogwarts Express and takes you through the longest tunnel at Barog. Do not miss a ride on this toy train at any cost when you are in Shimla.
Shimla is a land of seven hills. One of the them, the most famous, in fact, is the Summer Hill. 2100 ft above sea level, Summer Hill is your best bet to escape the city heat during summers. It’s a peaceful location to meditate or wander aimlessly. The dense forest coupled with exotic flora only invites you in. Treks are regularly undertaken by companies or you can also choose to go for a walk.
Kuthar Fort is located near Arki, spanning an area of 53 sq. km. It is located right in the centre of exotic flora and hence makes for a great getaway. The carefully laid out pools and landscaped gardens add to the charm of this fort. You can walk around the fort, explore the many fresh water springs and breathe in the clean air of nature and history. A perfect winter afternoon tour.
A flea market of Shimla, very famous for its knick-knacks like wooden toys, jewellery, antiques, clocks, chocolates, walking sticks etc, Lakkar Bazar is a shopaholic's paradise. There is a roller skating hall too, so if you are into skating then do enter the rink! For foodies, Lakkar Bazar rolls out with street food stalls and cafes — from chole kulche to aloo chat to pasta, the street serves you all.
Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary
11 km from the city centre, the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary is home to some exotic animals. From bears to leopards, deer to jackals and more. And monkeys, of course — they keep jumping from tree to tree. You can also enjoy perfectly beautiful views of Himalayan mountains like Bandar Poonch, Chota Shali, Rakta Dhar, Deo Tibba etc. Such is the elevation of this reserve that you can even see the famed Pir Panjal ranges of Kashmir from here.